Unusual Event: Uganda’s Royal Ascot Goat Races

This weekend, Uganda will be hosting their Royal Ascot Goat Races. Held at the Speke Resort on the shores of Lake Victoria, this annual tradition has been going on since 1993. According to BBC Travel, it came to be when a local sailing club decided to put on a quirky fundraiser, borrowing inspiration from a Zimbabwe horse breeder who held a pig race in his garden for his birthday. The club swapped pigs for goats, creating a successful event that draws people from all around the world. As the races grew, the club began to model the event after England‘s Royal Ascot horse races, complete with over-the-top outfits and awards for the best-dressed man and woman and most elaborate hat.

On September 1, 2012, the race will mark its eighth year. Although goats may not be the fastest animals in the world, the prize awarded to the winner is 30 million shillings (about $356,379). Additionally, spectators can bet on the races to win money of their own. And even if someone bets on a losing goat, they’ll still “win,” as proceeds are donated to a local charities.

For a more visual idea of the Royal Ascot Goat Races, check out the video above.